BISMARCK, ND–The Bobcats have the knack of the shootout down, and after another win in that fashion Friday night, they have a share of first place in their division as well.
Joonas Huovinen (Oulu, Finland) and Filip Starzynski (Warsaw, Poland) each scored in regulation, again again in the shootout, as Bismarck edged by the Brookings Blizzard 4-3 at Larson Ice Center in Brookings, SD Friday night, the lone night of activity for the Bobcats this weekend.
Aaron Nelson (Bismarck, ND), the reigning NAHL Central Division Star of the Week, answered the call in the shootout, turning away four straight Brookings attempts. After Starzynski tallied to make it a 2-0 shootout margin. Nelson turned away Blizzard’s Nick DeCenzo’s chance to seal the win for Bismarck, now 7-2 overall this season. The Bobcats have won five straight.
Huovinen scored his second goal in three games as a Bobcat, with assists going to Matt Anders (Lafayette, CO) and Tyler Dunagan (Maple Grove, MN), at 4:58 of the first. After the Blizzard took a second-period lead, Huba Sekesi (Munich, Germany) tied the affair with help from Jared Dedenbach (Warren, MI) at 12:20 of the second. Starzynski delivered another lead to the Bobcats with a power-play counter at 5:42 of the third, assisted by Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN), who recorded his 12th assist of the season.
After the Blizzard forced the shootout and the first two rounds ended scoreless, Bismarck again turned to Huovinen for a clutch score. It was his goal in the sixth round of a shootout that beat Aberdeen last Saturday night in Bismarck. Starzynski then followed with the eventual icer.
With the Austin Bruins idle Friday night, the Bobcats’ win pulls Bismarck into a first-place tie with the Bruins, with 14 points each. The Bruins host Brookings Saturday night.
The Bobcats return to Brookings next Friday night, then close a three-game series with the Blizzard at the VFW Sports Center in Bismarck next Saturday. Tickets are still available at the Bobcats’ ticket office. Call 222-3300 for tickets and more information.